As tough as the past month has been, it was in these dark and challenging moments that I could feel and experience them as gifts I needed to receive.

From celebrating nine years of marriage to a man I love so dearly, seeing our dearest world-traveling friends, toasting to 25 years of industry impact in honor of Collett Dawson, a back to back work schedule and being kissed by an elephant to facing my mortality with a cancer cloud hanging over me…I am still here.

My first kiss with an elephant!

Ecclesiastes 7:3 Sorrow is better than laughter, for sadness has a refining influence on us.

I was inspired by a Joyce Meyer podcast to read the book of Ecclesiastes and it was in reading this chapter that I came across this verse that has been tattooed in my heart. I have needed to share this message with dear friends of mine who have lost mothers and brothers. I seem to be surrounded by extreme emotional and in some cases, physical suffering as well. If you’re reading this, my prayer for you is that these words give you hope that tomorrow will be a better day.

I can only think that this must be a test. A test to see what I have learnt. A test to see what I remember. A test to see how will I grow.

As I reflect on these questions and consider the importance of the test, the creator and my source – I feel blessed when I look around and see the friendships I have, the love I feel and the opportunities I have been given to lend and not borrow, to give and not receive, to serve, to care, to listen and to love.

Taking a break from technology has given me the time and headspace to also feel the pages between my fingers, feel my hand grasp and pen the moments of my life and listen to the quietness of my breath. #headspaceapp

This past month has been filled with sadness, but this sadness has refined and defined my view on my life, the choices I make and the promises I declare. I’ve had a reboot, been switched on! #backondigital

The Leading Women’s Summit 2017, sponsored by MTN Business & Africa Forbes Women starts tomorrow. Perfect timing for a number of reasons.

  1. For the christian community, we are in a period of fasting where we spend more time than usual deep in prayer and remembering the story of Jesus’ death as a chance to appreciate all that we have and be reminded where we draw our strength, guidance and peace from. This conference brings together conversations that will undoubtedly leave the women feeling appreciated and cared for a number of reasons.
  2. As women we need to find a space and a place to come together to #endgirlhate. I see and experience how we don’t stand together as much as we should, as we do and this event is an opportunity for us to connect, reconnect with all that makes us divinely unique. This is the space, this is place.
  3. Working mother’s are in silent pain and suffering with deep, intense guilt to do more, be more and give more. The challenge we face is the challenge of our world and not enough time to figure it all out. This summit is a source of inspiration to find these answers or be inspired enough to figure it out on our own. The rise of digital has been a blessing of more time for working mothers. Thanks to http://www.booking.com  and http://www.tripadvisor.com I have been able to create many firsts and memorable moments for family and friends. Before I would have needed a service provider, a meeting, more time, quotes sent to me, to be reviewed and analyzed… the list for the process is endless. My mother did all of this once upon a time and I am so proud and impressed by her. When I think of my mother, cancer survivor and working mother – she makes me want to be a better mother, wife, sister, family member, friend and employee every day! But… if there is a shortcut using digital, I will not be ashamed to embrace it or consider myself weaker for it! I’ll do other stuff to make my kids as proud of me one day and leave a legacy that could compare to my sweet mother.
  4. We can’t escape the force of digital and the way it dominates every area of our life! This event will bring together some key female influencers from across various industries. Through a candid exchange of ideas and experiences, panel sessions and keynote speakers will explore the underlying theme of disruption: a force that creates a new market and value network, displaces established market leaders and fundamentally changes the way we see things. The day-long event will also throw light on tech innovators, roboticists and the new industries that are changing the norm.

While February 2017 was a tough one, March 2017 is shaping out to be a month of more firsts, love in abundance and an intense journey of learning through inspired interactions where the timing and place are both perfectly aligned.

Hope to see you all at #LWS2017 #brandiva

#LWS2017 you can’t miss out – see what 2016 was all about!